Just time for a quick update this week, as I’m off to the Green Man festival today. It was great to get this lovely pdf (see the end of this post) of my latest Artists & Illustrators feature the other day. I don’t like to pester editors to send me copies of my work but have resolved to do it now and then so that I can gather cuttings for this site. Plus, I always love seeing my A&I pieces on the page because they’re invariably beautifully designed and accompanied by gorgeous pictures. Fine artist and hugely successful illustrator Caroline Pedler’s work is a case in point. I was lucky enough to interview her in person on my travels around Cornwall earlier this year, and was struck by how well she balances two very different ways of working. If you’d like to find out more, read the article below!
This week I’m working on a deeply moving story of an asylum seeker who endured unimaginable hardship to get the the UK and has eventually managed to return to his lifelong passion of painting – with stunning results. I won’t tell you the whole tale now, but will post a link when it’s published.
I’ve also managed to secure a commission to write a feature on Molly Parkin for A&I, which definitely merits a trip to London to meet Molly in person. I’m hoping to get that set up for next week. Her paintings are extraordinary and – as you can no doubt imagine – pretty saucy at times (a selection will be on show in Swansea at Galerie Simpson next month). I interviewed her on the phone last week for the Western Mail and she was candid and delightful, so I’m really looking forward to a face-to-face chat.
Other interesting commissions have included a feature for Waitrose magazine about eating out in Wales – one of my favourite subjects. I got to do a round-up of some of my favourites, and I’m pleased to say that it was hard to pick just six. Wales has so much good stuff going on food-wise at present, from street snacks at the bustling Uplands Market to new arrivals such as the new Rasoi Indian restaurant in SA1, which opens in September. I’m already a fan of the original Pontlliw restaurant, which really sets itself apart with fresh flavours and an interesting mix of regional dishes, familiar favourites and modern creations. Word is that they’re pushing things to the next level with their new opening, so I can’t wait to check it out.
Two promising new discoveries I’ve made in the past week include the new burger offering at No. 6 bar in the city centre and the food at the Plough and Harrow in Murton, which I mentioned in my last post and have now managed to try. It’s a classy take on pub grub, plus some interesting international options, all cooked with flair and precision – and the lunch deal, which offers two courses for £14.95, is a steal. I’ll definitely be back for more. As for the burgers at No. 6, I can only tell you about the falafel burger (I am trying to be mostly vegetarian these days) which was generous, wholesome and gratifyingly big on herbs and spices – and the chips were great. If I remember rightly, it was just £10 for a burger, chips and beer – so another bargain.
I’m planning much more eating over the next few days: I’m definitely as excited about the food options at the Green Man as I am about the music. But think of me with pity when it rains for the next four days…